Google Working with Carriers and Phone Makers to Expand Assistant's Reach and Capabilities
Google today said the Google Assistant is prepared to grow in a number of significant ways. First, the voice-activated tool is picking up some new languages. Google says Assistant will speak Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, and Thai on Android phones and iPhones in the next few months, with more languages on the way. Google expects Assistant to understand as many as 30 languages by the end of the year. Further, Google Assistant will be able to understand multiple languages at a time, meaning people can speak both English and German to their Assistant without changing settings. This feature will first be available between English, French, and German, with other languages to follow. Google also noted that it is working more directly from carriers and phone makers to improve Assistant. For example, LG, Sony, and Xiaomi are all prepared to rollout device-specific commands and features based on Google Assistant. Moreover, carriers Sprint, Koodo, Telus, and Vodafone are developing integrations with Assistant. Between the phone makers and carriers, Google expects Assistant to support individual device features, customer service queries, and more. Last, Google Assistant is adding two new tools to help people manage their day. Routines let people issue one command and set off a chain of actions. For example, say "Hey Google, I’m home" and the Assistant on Google Home or phone can turn on the lights, share any home reminders, play your favorite music, and more. Location-based reminders have now expanded to Google Home speakers. People can tell Assistant on their speaker to set reminders for specific locations, such as to get milk when at the store, and the alert will popup when appropriate. Google expects to bring even more features to Assistant throughout the year.
Google Updating Your Movies to 4K for Free
Oct 23, 2018
Google today said movies people own via the Google Play Store will automatically be upgraded to 4K at no extra cost. When Hollywood studios make their titles available in 4K, Google will upgrade previous purchases, even if those purchases were for originally SD or HD resolution.
Google Actions for Assistant Work Better Within Apps
Feb 26, 2018
Google today improved its Actions on the Google Assistant in several ways that should expand its reach and usability. To start, Actions on Google gain support for seven new languages (Hindi, Thai, Indonesian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Dutch), making for a total of 16.
Google Assistant Lets Device Makers Create Custom Actions
Mar 9, 2018
Google today introduced new Custom Device Actions for Google Assistant that will give devices native functionality specific to their hardware. Custom Device Actions build on the Assistant's existing Actions tool for issuing specific commands.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Offer Refined Hardware, Improved Camera, AR Emoji
Feb 25, 2018
Samsung today announced the Galaxy S9 and S9+ phones, updates to last year's S8 models. The devices bear a striking resemblance to their predecessors and make only modest changes to the hardware.
Apple Says iOS 12 Will Be Faster, Work Better On Older iPhones
Jun 4, 2018
Apple today announced iOS 12, its next-generation platform for the iPhone and iPad. Apple says it spent time improving the performance of the operating system, which in claims will work well on iPhones and iPads that went on sale as far back as 2013.